by Kate Hirzel
In celebration of Women’s History Month, colleges and universities are hosting events to celebrate womxn, not women.
In an effort to become more inclusive of those that deny biological reality, higher education is in fact erasing women’s opportunities to excel in academics, athletics, and career tracks.
I am proud to be a woman. Women have been pivotal to our society. But making women compete with men undermines females’ ability to achieve success.
I received scholarships to make college more affordable. I was recruited in college to compete for track and field. I joined the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.
The question is: Will women receive the same academic, athletic, and professional help I did now that they have to compete with “womxn” (i.e. men)?
My family struggled financially growing up. My father passed away from colon cancer, leaving my stay-at-home mother to raise two young children. My stepfather worked for Conrail Railroad, and they offered a women’s scholarship.
Lucky for me, I received the scholarship, which enabled me to attend college.
Scholarships for women are important because they encourage academic excellence and make college more affordable. Through scholarships, I was able to devote more time to academics instead of working multiple jobs to pay for my education at Albion College.
Would I have been able to afford college if I, or other women like me, had to compete against men for scholarships?
Women scholarships are transitioning to anyone who identifies as a woman, which will take away money for women.
Simply identifying as a woman is not restrictive to scholarships either.
The only reason I heard of Albion College was through recruitment. I competed on the varsity track team in the 400-meter hurdles my freshmen year.
Track gave me structure. I learned time management, dedication, and maintained a high grade point average.
College athletes also have a higher rate of graduating, specifically 90% of D1 student athletes in 2021.
Would I have been able to athletically compete in college if I, or other women like me, had to compete physically against men?
Men are biologically different than women, even when they are on hormone blockers. Women’s lungs are smaller, their bones are less dense, and they’re shorter.
A 2021 study of 85,000 children 9-17 showed that 9-year-old males ran faster, jumped further, and could do more pushups than 9-year-old females.
Even before puberty, biological males have an athletic competitive advantage over biological females. Women deserve their opportunity to compete fairly in sports.
I joined AAUW, which is a women’s club on college campuses.
We hosted events with empowering women, created awareness for women’s issues, and even traveled to conferences. I received a scholarship to attend a women’s conference in DC my freshmen year.
I met women who interned on Capitol Hill. They taught me how to apply for internships and offered mentorship.
I was also a member of the women’s fraternity Kappa Alpha Theta. Fortunately, I received the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation Scholarship, which helped me afford housing in Washington, DC during my summer internship.
I also served in leadership positions within my sorority and became Panhellenic president.
Would I have been able to gain leadership skills if I, or other women like me, had to compete against men for opportunities?
Greek life was initially founded by students who wanted to discuss intellectual topics that were not offered in the classroom. As the organizations grew, so did their purpose.
Sororities offer training programs, mentorship, conferences, and a social organization for women to feel empowered. Statistically, sorority women account for six First Ladies, 32 US congresswomen, the first female astronaut, and multiple Fortune 500 CEOs.
How women are treated and afforded opportunities in higher education impacts their ability to be successful later in life. That’s why what happens at women’s colleges, on women’s sports teams, and in sororities matter.
Campus Reform has reported that women’s colleges allow transgender women to attend.
Women are different than men, and that’s okay. Women’s colleges focus on the needs of women instead of a generalized focus.
Women are socialized to be nurturing and less dominant. Women colleges offer support, opportunities, and standards that are specific to women. Research from the Women’s College Coalition found that women participate more in and out of the classroom, have higher self-esteem, and attain higher graduation rates at women’s colleges.
Allowing transgenders, and in some instances, nonbinary students, to enroll, will take away the opportunities for other women to thrive and institutions created to nurture their success.
Campus Reform has reported on University of Pennsylvania’s (UPenn) transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’s athletic advantage. Thomas won three swimming events during the Ivy League Championships. Biological women spots are being taken by biological men.
In 2019, a high school student was one spot away from competing at the Connecticut Indoor Track & Field State championships because two biological men competed instead. She missed an important opportunity to compete in front of recruiters.
Similarly, women’s colleges have programs that exist specifically for women. The Young Women’s Leadership Institute at Barnard College is an online program that focuses on gender and leadership.
That Barnard program recalls the fact that women are different than men psychologically.
Women are stronger in reading comprehension, writing ability, fine-motor comprehension and perceptual speed, verbal ability, and retrieving information from long-term memory. A women’s hippocampus (critical learning and memorization) is larger than a man’s and works differently. Women retain more vivid memories of emotional events.
Women’s brains, behaviors, and physical abilities are different than those of men. Not less. Different.
Accordingly, women deserve the proper space to be taught specifically for them. Biological men that identify as women are invading the area created specifically for women and are not only doing a disservice to the women but themselves as well.
“First women” accomplishments are already being stolen from women. The “first woman” to win more than $1 million on Jeopardy is biologically male.
The “first woman” to hit 47.63 seconds in the women’s swimming ivy league 100-yard freestyle is also male.
Rachel Levine, the “first woman” four-star admiral in the commissioned corps, is a man.
Using the term “womxn” or “womyn” completely takes away the importance of being a woman. Women deserve to be celebrated and appreciated.
But instead, the political left struggles to define women and dismiss it as a “feeling.”
Being a woman is not a feeling. It is something that is biologically embedded into a woman’s body and mind.
I am not a “birthing person.” I am not an “assigned female.” I am not “womxn.” I am not “womyn.” I am a woman. And that is something I am proud to be.
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Kate Hirzel is the Correspondent Director for Campus Reform. She has trained students for TV and radio interviews for Fox, Newsmax, One America News, and more. Previously Kate worked as a field director for Presidential and Congressional campaigns. She graduated with majors in economics and management and political science and was president of College Republicans at Albion College.